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"Jaws" the jig

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Project by Tom Huntley posted 1232 days ago 3497 views 48 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

OK, this one took three tries before I got what I wanted. And…it has turned out to be well worth the effort!

I have a problem with many sled type jigs, because tightening the clamps often distorts the jig, thereby compromizing accuracy and consistency. I like the idea of a push clamp because the forces can be more closely alligned along the length of the sled, meaning that it will ride flatter on the cutting tool surface. Initially, I tried different methods of moving the push clamp, and it was a pain in the butt! Then the idea of moving the jaws , and leaving the clamp fixed hit me. Eureka! A solution. Later, I had to get the pushing force of the rubber bumper lower to the sled, so it would hit more squarely in the middle of 3/4” stock. Notice the wedges located under the back side of the push-clamp mount. After that, I decided I wanted to hold a runner backer in place when making doors, and a second clamp (removable Incra clamp in photo) was added. Fini

The pictures should tell the story, but here’s how it works. Position the jig in the miter rail and loosen the jaw clamps. Insert your stock and close the clamps. Now depress the toggle until the arm is at around 2 o’clock. This will open the jaws slightly to the clamping position. Tighten the jaw clamps, and close down the toggle the rest of the way. (At least this is how I do it in order to quickly achieve the clamping pressure I want.) When I make doors, I cut the runner backer first, which also results in alligning the jig perfectly for subsequent cuts. The backer stays in place under the incra clamp, and the push clamp is used for multiple runner cuts. This is my favorite feature on this jig.

Sometimes, I turn the whole thing around and use it on my table saw. When I do that, I close the jaws tightly on the wood, and do not use the push clamp, since the rubber would be the only thing bucking the saw blade. So, I tighten the jaws, turn the knobs, tighten the Incra clamp, and make my cut. Simple! Great for small pieces too!

If you make one of these, and I think you will really like it, experience has taught me two things. Make sure the miter rail, sled edges, and jaws are as close to perfect as you can make them. This will make the jig even more fun to use. Also, the slot for the hold down clamp is offset to allow the back side some surface to rest on. I trilled a 7/8” hole at the end of the slot so I wouldn’t have to dissassemble the jig to change the clamp. I have a smaller toggle clamp on an adpter I sometimes use.

Again, this design is part of my mission to irradicate digital disconnectomies from all of woodworking!

Best to you all. Tom (3:16)

-- Tom Huntley - Rochester Hills, Michigan





12 comments so far

View traveler's profile

traveler

14 posts in 1455 days


#1 posted 1232 days ago

Very interesting solution for end cuts. I assume you’d use a different strategy for the long side of the piece you are cutting in the demo?

View Tom Huntley's profile

Tom Huntley

49 posts in 1836 days


#2 posted 1232 days ago

I probably could have done a better job staging the photos. Originally, I wanted a sturdy jig to cope panel door rails. This jig fits the bill as good as anything I’ve tried so far. I think the “longer” piece you are talking about is the in reference to the photo where I show how the jig can be used on a table saw. For really small pieces, I feel safer doing it this way than I do on my 12” power miter saw. Hope that helps.

-- Tom Huntley - Rochester Hills, Michigan

View Tom Huntley's profile

Tom Huntley

49 posts in 1836 days


#3 posted 1232 days ago

OK, I get it. Yes, for the styles (long pieces) I use a more conventional feed technique. I place two feather boards in the fence, and one on the table ahead of the bit. Then I merely push the stock through, finishing off with a push stick. No magic there. In fact, I’ve taken to making styles in long sticks for inventory, then cutting to desired length when I know what my door heights are going to be. Thanks for the comment.

-- Tom Huntley - Rochester Hills, Michigan

View Ed Pirnik's profile

Ed Pirnik

83 posts in 1427 days


#4 posted 1232 days ago

Beautifully done! Despite the fact that looks aren’t relevant for a jig – I always love a clean, smooth looking unit!
Ed

-- Ed Pirnik, Fine Woodworking Web Producer

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

14821 posts in 1785 days


#5 posted 1232 days ago

Nice solid jig you have made, should last a long time.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View steliart's profile

steliart

1807 posts in 1285 days


#6 posted 1232 days ago

very nice jig with good ideas

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions - http://www.steliart.com --

View sawdustunderfoot's profile

sawdustunderfoot

31 posts in 1491 days


#7 posted 1232 days ago

That is a nice looking jig! After I build my router table, this will high on my list of jigs to build.
Thank for posting this.

-- There are no mistakes in woodworking , they're learning expierences ;)

View woodzy's profile

woodzy

413 posts in 1275 days


#8 posted 1232 days ago

Nice idea. I have been looking for a design. I like this best.

-- Anthony

View Roger's profile

Roger

14096 posts in 1401 days


#9 posted 1232 days ago

very nice jig, and very good description of it

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View Bricofleur's profile

Bricofleur

1115 posts in 1790 days


#10 posted 1231 days ago

I like the idea of using a push clamp, which are not often used. Clever!

Best,

Serge

http://atelierdubricoleur.wordpress.com

-- Learn from yesterday, work today and enjoy success tomorrow. -- http://atelierdubricoleur.wordpress.com

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3647 posts in 2260 days


#11 posted 1231 days ago

Tom—Pretty clever .. thanks for posting!

—Gerry

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2697 posts in 1883 days


#12 posted 1217 days ago

Good job on the jig. Looks like a winner!

-- She thought I hung the moon--now she just thinks I did it wrong

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